The Warriors close out 2018 Monday night with a New Year's Eve matchup with the sneaky-dangerous Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix.
Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 5:00pm with Warriors Pregame, followed by tipoff scheduled for 6:05.
The Warriors (24-13) put on a solid show Saturday night in Portland, taking the lead late in the first quarter and never losing it in a 115-105 win at Moda Center. Klay Thompson had his best offensive game in more than a month, scoring 32 points on 12-of-21 shooting, including 4-of-5 from deep.
Though the Suns are only 9-28 and headed for another trip to the draft lottery, they are 5-4 over the last nine games and have several talented young players, led by guard Devin Booker and rookie center DeAndre Ayton.
If the Warriors don't have the proper focus, they could find themselves in for a fight.
G – Stephen Curry
G – Klay Thompson
F – Kevin Durant
F – Draymond Green
C – Kevon Looney
G – Devin Booker
G – De'Anthony Melton
F – Mikal Bridges
F – TJ Warren
C – DeAndre Ayton
Warriors: Center DeMarcus Cousins (left Achilles' tendon rehab) and center Damian Jones (left pectoral surgery) are listed as out.
Suns: No injuries listed.
Warriors: Coach Steve Kerr went deep into his bench on Saturday, playing 10 different players at least 12 minutes. F Andre Iguodala's ejection forced some shuffling, but Kerr had vowed more liberal use of his bench.
Thompson shooting accuracy was remarkable is it a one-game phenomenon? He has not shot above 50 percent in back-to-back games since Nov. 10.
No doubt Curry noticed that Denver PG Jamal Murray cooked the Suns for 46 points on Saturday in Phoenix.
Durant has scored at least 20 points in 24 of the last 25 games.
Looney was more involved in the offense, scoring 9 first-quarter points at Portland. Don't be surprised if that plan is reengaged in an effort to get Ayton into foul trouble or pull him away from the paint.
Because the Suns like to play fast, it's conceivable that C Jordan Bell will get an opportunity. He has been mediocre this season, but his athleticism and the team's thinness in the middle could push him into action.
Suns: Ayton was spectacular against the Nuggets on Saturday, with 33 points, on 16-of-20 shooting, along with 14 rebounds and four steals. The last rookie to shoot 80 percent on at least 20 shots was Hakeem Olajuwon on Dec. 6, 1984 against the Warriors. Ayton had 24 points in the second quarter.
Booker has posted at least 25 points and eight assists in each of the last six games. Only Michael Jordan, James Harden and Russell Westbrook have longer such streaks since 1984.
There's a good chance the Suns talked plenty about backcourt defense in the wake of Murray's performance. Neither Booker nor Melton is a particularly strong defender, though.
Warren made 28 3-pointers last season. He has 60 this season and his converting at a 43.8-percent clip.
Do the Suns play hard? Here's the evidence: Phoenix leads the NBA in steals (10.5) and deflections (17.5) per game, and they are sixth in forcing turnovers (16.6).